Monday, May 02, 2016

N.Y. Yankees: Blame for Beantown Beat Down Falls on Brian Cashman

From the desk of:  BLAME CARLOS MAY

Merely passing each other by in the night while heading in opposite directions.

Red Sox sweep series 3-0
I - BOS 4; NYY 2
II - BOS 8; NYY 0
III - BOS 8; NYY 7

Look what Big Papi did to the Bronx Bombers ... again!

The Red Sox swept the weekend series at Fenway Park by a combined 20-9 score.  As has been his custom since joining the Red Sox, David Ortiz went 4 for 7 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI during the first two games.

Now in his 14th season with the Red Sox, David Ortiz has 778 career at-bats against the Bombers, in which he slashed .339/.424/.679, with 48 home runs, and 152 RBI.

In two classic back-to-back American League Championship Series between the Yankees and Red Sox during 2003-2004, Big Papi slashed a combined .328/.412/.640, with 5 home runs and 17 RBI in 14 games.

Ortiz combined to hit 30+ home runs and drive in 100+ runs nine times throughout his career.  He led the American League with 148 RBI in 2005, then led the circuit with both 54 home runs and 137 RBI in 2006.

David Ortiz
"Big Papi"
Twins 1997 - 2002
Red Sox 2003 - present
508 HR
1,660 RBI

New York Yankees: "Right now is a time when everyone wants to play the Yankees" - Ken Singleton during Saturday's telecast.

Let the table hit the floor...
Let the table hit the floor...
Let the table hit the floor...
Let the table hit the floor...


Joe Girardi always looks miserable, but he's looking especially grim these days.  As the Yankees enter the second month of the season, little is going his way.

Before Joe makes himself sick, someone please tell him this is all Brian Cashman's fault.

In the meantime, Sunday's result once again did little to remove the scowl from Girardi's jaw clenched face.
  • The Red Sox moved into first place after a weekend sweep of the Yankees.  
  • The Yankees have now lost five in a row, and six of their last seven games.
  • Oh, and they're in last place with an 8-15 record, and must now face the second place Orioles.

Said another way, the Yankees are off to their worst start since 1991, back when the Law of Diminished Returns ill affected the Boss' Yankees of the late 1980s in eerie similar fashion.

Fast forward - upon his hiring, Joe Girardi was initially tasked with retiring a dynasty, then got locked into a rebuilding holding pen after Cashman signed another wave of prohibitive contracts.  Not unexpectedly, now Girardi is receiving distressing performances from the all team's most expensive players.  

Until the Yankees detach themselves from several of these largess contracts, they'll remain incapable of initiating a full blown youth insurgence (which requires its own conversation).  Brian Cashman has actually procured some good young talent, sure, but his greater claims of a youth injection are greatly exaggerated.  Instead, he's to be criticized for years of lacking timeliness and forethought.

In the meantime what's a Yankees manager to do?  Joe Girardi is nothing more than the interpreter of the Book of Cashman - a stooge, if you will, in the same manner many managers were under George Steinbrenner.  Under the old Old Boss, however, this never used to be a problem - he just ate the money and bought more players.  These days, that's just not the way Hal rolls.

There's the rub ... Brian Cashman began empowering himself during George's latter years, but has truly seized, and exerted, full authority under Hal.  This is not a criticism of Mr. Steinbrenner, but I'm not sure Hal is prepared to venture forward without Cashman ... yet.

The Bronx Bombers are presently nothing more than a myth.  Although there's been some tangible improvements made from within, these Yankees arrived at their own law of diminished returns years ago.

2016 American League Rank:
  • 6th least home runs
  • 5th worst team average
  • 4th worst OBP
  • 2nd most strikeouts
  • Dead last in slugging

I watched Saturday's game, and agreed with David Cone and Ken Singleton when the two accurately described the Yankees overall effort as one worthy of a buffet flip.

After one particularly poor performance, Ken Singleton recalled how his manager Earl Weaver once flipped the food table while telling his team they didn't deserve to eat.  Singleton said Weaver then apologized, and told the team it was his own fault, because he picked them, and thought they could win!


There's no need discussing how George would have handled this, especially after getting swept in Boston.

Although David Cone was first to suggest flipping the buffet table, he got it right by calling that Old School tactics.  

Ah, the good ol' days!

This world is now far too PC for the Billy Martin's and Earl Weaver's of yore, but I digress...

Saturday's 8-0 whitewashing was the second of two pathetically played games against the Red Sox on consecutive nights at Fenway Park.  At least the Yanks showed some fight on Sunday.  But it was the manner in which they lost on Saturday that inspired Cone and Singleton to consider such a reactive measure - a message made all the more poignant because it came from two former players.

Monday is an off day for the Yankees, who will then open a series in Baltimore on Tuesday against the second place Orioles.

Circling back to Girardi, maybe the guys in the booth were right.  Perhaps Joe should have indeed flipped the buffet table and sent them back to the hotel room that night feeling hungry.

Maybe, if their malaise continues during their stopover in Baltimore, the ghost of Earl Weaver will inspire Joe Girardi to ignore protocol, and engage in said old school tactics.

Flip the table Joe!

Nothing else in Cashman's codex seems to be working for you.

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